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Roma Street Parkland – THE Review for Families

There’s a secret formula to making your day at Roma Street Parkland not only the best “free” day your child could imagine, but the most enjoyable and “easy” day for you too!  I discovered it today.

I’ve taken the kids to Roma Street Parkland when they were 4, then 5… and now they are 6, each time they’ve loved it, but today I left with a smile on my face… wanting to go back too.  Soon.

The problem in the past is that I’ve treated the place like a “normal” park, but it’s really not.  The place is absolutely massive.  The formula is quite simple, treat it like a playground visit + a theme park visit in one.  That is, ask yourself these two questions:

  1. How far can your child walk without complaining?
  2. How much can you carry without complaining?

…. and voila, you have a formula.

Looking for the Roma St Parkland Christmas Lights? Click here.

For me, the answers are: not far + not much.  We addressed these issues and everything worked perfectly.  No, actually, brilliantly!

Check out our video, if you haven’t been before you’re in for a treat!

Planning a Trip to Roma Street Parkland

As I mentioned, the place is packed with things to see and do, here are the things to do and places you MUST see and do!

Don’t lose your car or take a train instead

When you arrive, make a mental note of a landmark that will get you back to your car (if you’re driving).  There are quite a few distinguishing (big) landmarks that should help ensure that you don’t get lost.  For me, there was a massive water feature right near my car, it was very helpful. You can always take the train to the Parklands. It is a short walk from Roma Street Station into the Parklands.

Get a map of Roma Street Parkland

There are a couple of Information Centres that hand out maps of Roma Street Parkland, you’ll need it to make sure that you see everything that there is to see, alternatively, you can download the Roma Street Parkland map and print it before you go.


If you have school aged children, the Information Centres hand out various worksheets that effectively send kids on a treasure hunt. Or you could download our Roma St Parkland scavenger hunts here.

If you’re headed there during the school holidays, why not participate in some of the free/inexpensive school holiday activities on around the place, from arts & crafts and gardening to yoga!

If your child has their heart set on going on the Parkland Explorer (the little train) that travels around the park, check what time it is running.

The rules of the Parklands

It might sound a little strange, but familiarise yourself with the rules before you go, by doing this I realised that the kids COULD take their scooters, you CAN take your dog to Roma St Parkland, but there are some conditions around this.

Places to see throughout the grounds

I could talk you through the different places on the map, but let’s face it, I can barely keep a pot plant alive, so I’m probably not very qualified to talk to you about gardens.  Instead, let’s talk through the boxes that you’ll need to tick off during a visit.

Play on the playgrounds

Roma Street Parkland has two great playgrounds, one is quite new, the other has been around for a while.

The new playground is slightly larger and VERY popular with kids of all ages.  I mentioned earlier that there was a secret formula to having a successful day and one of the tips were “how much can you carry without complaining?”  Well, the kids would have played on the first playground for about an hour and I was VERY comfortable on the soft and comfy grass.  i.e. I didn’t need a picnic blanket!

Roma Street Parkland Playground

The playground features a really cool slide and lots of things to climb…. including….

QLD School holiday

… an actual tree.  Yes, imagine that… a real live tree. With so many climbing trees for kids in Brisbane, this is another to add to your list!

Roma Street Parklands - Climbing tree

The second playground was fun for my 6 year olds, but probably even more suited to the little ones.

Lots of low to the ground things for the kids to explore.

Roma Street Parkland Playground

And, another twirly whirly slide, with more climbing equipment.

Roma Street Parkland Playground

Now… be aware, right next to the first playground is a little water feature, not something that your child would probably look at and consider as a swimming pool.

When we were there I heard one child ask his Mum “can I walk in it without shoes?”, this Mum’s “yes” triggered a mob of children to have a splash.  Mine were drenched by the end.

Roma Street Parkland Swimming

Water features & animals

We looked at the large water fall from up above and if we hadn’t seen two kids coming out from the middle of the waterfall we would have missed one of the highlights of the visit.  It’s located close to the cafe, on the Celebration Lawn.

Roma Street Parkland Waterfall

The little pathway had a fine mist spraying, it was really cold water it was spectacular to look at and the kids enjoyed cooling down.

Roma Street Parkland Waterfall

The other main water feature is in the Lake Precinct…

Roma Street Parklands water feature

It was here that the kids enjoyed seeing the ducks and fish. During certain times of the year your kids can attend ‘catch & release’ fishing events for FREE! Click here for more information!

And on your journey… watch out for the giant lizards, a great opportunity to teach the kids about camouflage.

Roma Street Parkland - Lizard

The gardens and pathways

Obviously, wherever you go you’re going to see the most amazing trees, shrubs and flowers, to see more of these, watch our video, but…

Roma Street Parkland gardens

… the secret for us, the one thing that we did differently on this visit, the key to our success were their scooters, these magic moving machines resulted in our children actually wanting to SEE things, to exercise, to get around, to explore.

And it tired them out.

Roma Street Parkland Scooters

If it wasn’t for their scooters, I’m pretty sure we wouldn’t have seen half as many things (they would have been too tired to walk).

Instead, we saw all the little things in hidden in the gardens, like the scarecrow…

Roma Street Parkland Scarecrow

… the mushroom chairs…

Roma Street Parklands mushroom chairs

… the giant tomato…

Roma Street Parkland tomato

… and when the time came, their legs were still able to actually operate, allowing them to jump on stepping stones and climb stairs when needed.

Roma Street Parkland stepping stones

Getting there

Roma Street Parkland is surprisingly easy to get to, and I found the parking quite easy too!  If you drive straight down Gregory Terrace onto Parkland Boulevard, you’ll find plenty of parking around the place.  I parked in a metred spot that was $14 for 3 hours. Or book online with Secure Parking using this discount code: FAMILIES for 25% off online parking bookings!

There are plenty of public transport options too, with Roma Street train station conveniently located close to all the action and various bus stops to choose from.  Visit the Roma Street Parkland website for more information.

Food and toilets

There are quite a few toilets around, even one conveniently located next to the kids’ playground.

In regards to food and drinks, we found a few drink fountains, a drink van and there is a Cafe located right near the Celebration lawn. It’s a bit pricey though, but they do have ice-cream…

Roma Street parkland Cafe

In addition to this, there are BBQs, it’s the perfect place for a picnic.

In summary, Roma Street Parkland is the perfect place for a fun and relaxing day out for the whole family.

Just remember… how much can you carry (ditch the stuff, or carry it in a pram, in something with wheels or in a backpack) + motivate the kids to move (perhaps a scooter if they aren’t fantastic at walking).  And THAT is the winning formula!

Photo of author

Janine Mergler

Janine Mergler is a veteran Queensland teacher, graduating from QUT with a BEd majoring in Social Sciences. After many years in the classroom, Janine moved on to academia. She has proudly trained new generations of teachers in her role as a lecturer at Queensland University of Technology Faculty of Education. She has also worked in the Queensland Government as an education specialist, developing education resources and delivering community awareness programs to help families conserve water. Currently she is the owner and editor of Families Magazine, a publication specifically targeted at parents who value a quality education for children.  Janine leads a team of professionals who write about family lifestyle, early childhood, schools and education information and family-friendly events.

3 thoughts on “Roma Street Parkland – THE Review for Families”

  1. Hi, thanks for such a comprehensive article! I’m thinking about taking the kids down to Roma St Parklands during the hols (we live on the Sunny Coast and I’m not very familiar with Brisbane) and your section about Roma St Parklands is really helpful. Just wondering if the Secure parking code FAMILIES applies only to a particular car park? It won’t work for me. Looking forward to your reply please 🙂 Thanks!

  2. The first playground you mentioned, the newer one, is that the one in between the children’s garden and the amphitheatre?


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